Release Date: Jan 22, 2013
Record label: Relativity
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Contemporary Pop/Rock, New Wave/Post-Punk Revival, Dance-Rock
Last time Adam Ant released an album, chart success was possible, even expected, so he indulged in his softer side on 1993's Wonderful. Those were different times. Twenty years later, the music biz has fractured and Adam himself hasn't had an easy time of things (the past two decades were littered with tabloid stories of his travails), and he's decided to seize these two events on the wild, sprawling double-album Adam Ant Is the BlueBlack Hussar in Marrying the Gunner's Daughter.
Around a decade ago, when Adam Ant was twice convicted of affray and sectioned to a psychiatric institution, few would have backed the troubled star to return to the music that made Adam and the Ants one of the biggest and most colourful late-70s and early-80s pop phenomenons. However, now re-established as a successful live performer, his ninth album does just that. The 17 tracks offer a rickety but entertaining mix of the best elements of his imperial period: tribal glam stomps, razor-slashed T Rex guitars, two-drummer Glitter beats, knowing homages to cult icons (Vince Taylor and Vivienne Westwood) and sex.
In the post-Savile climate, one has to question the wisdom of a 58-year-old man singing: "Punky young girl needs a middle-aged man whose midlife crisis you began", even if the subject of the song is apparently Kate Moss. But such a disregard for common sense permeates Adam Ant's first album in 18 years, an unwieldy sprawl from its title in. The sometime dandy highwayman tackles a bewildering array of styles, from the bluesy drawl of Cool Zombie to the animated swagger of Shrink, via a nod to his early-80s heyday in Bullshit.
Having not released an album for 17 years, some people assumed Adam Ant’s recording career was over. After listening to this, an album that gives the middle finger to brevity, many will wish it was. Really long name and record – painfully so at times. There are flashes of the old brilliance on ‘Shrink’, but preceding number ‘Hardmenhardblokes’ is as baffling as it is weird.